Thordis Adalsteinsdottir

Dog by the Spring

September 10 - October 17, 2009

Lactating Martyr, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in (91.4 x 91.4 cm)

Dog by the Spring , 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 51 x 28 in (130 x 71 cm)

Man Smoking, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in (91 x 91 cm) 

Marlon with Kittypuss , 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 51 x 28 in (130 x 71 cm) 

Teodoro, Jacques and Sailor, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in (91 x 91 cm) 

Woman Alone, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in (91 x91 cm) 

Woman Celebrates with Naked Man , 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in (122 x 122 cm) 

Europa, Kittycat and Potato, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in (122 x 122 cm) 

Stux Gallery is pleased to present a fourth solo show of new paintings by

Thordis Adalsteinsdottir. The Icelandic-born, New York-based artist’s new body of

paintings offers to viewers another glimpse into her idiosyncratic inner landscapes

of otherworlds. In these dreamlike scenes, cohabited by animals and people, strange

interactions occur that question the traditional logic and expectations of

viewing. The bold abundance of vivid color in her new paintings is not to be read as

joyous celebration of life à la Matisse. The color as used in these images is far more

ambivalent in its signification: it offers respite from cryptic narratives and a call for

viewers’ delectation of beautiful patterns, which are Adalsteinsdottir’s signature

pictorial element.

Although not overtly feminist, Adalsteinsdottir’s images of circuitry and

sexual geography of the body correspond to self-knowledge achieved through

feminine writing (écriture féminine). These themes in an oblique way imply cycles

of life, death, and rebirth through an iconography of human and fairy-tale animal

imagery. The artist does not use iconic animals and fairy tales because she does not

assume the whole traditional narrative of gender as a premise. Often in her

depictions animals are human personified only to stress the ambivalence toward

gender stereotypes. While melancholy prevails, strange signals of large surfaces of

vivid colors and beautiful patterns indicate a redemptive dimension – indeed,

happiness can occur, even if not yet. Adalsteinsdottir’s scenes are like frozen

moments from dreams and nightmares equally fantastical, absurd, and deadpan.

Sometimes the animals wear fishnet stockings; sometimes they are carrying razors;

sometimes they are just there to comfort the humans. Without them, human sadness

would be unbearable to behold.